United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
RECONSIDERATION AND DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS'
BARBARA J. ROTHSTEIN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration, Dkt. No.
22, of the Court's ruling that it lacked personal
jurisdiction over Defendants in this matter, Dkt. No. 21.
Plaintiff purports to present new evidence, not previously
available, to support its request for reconsideration.
Defendants reply that not only does the new information not
change the Court's previous conclusion, but that
Plaintiffs motion is frivolous and, therefore, warrants
sanctions. Dkt. No. 26.
reviewed the motion, opposition thereto, the record of the
case, and the relevant legal authorities, the Court will deny
both Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration and
Defendants' request for sanctions. The reasoning for the
Court's decision follows.
Court laid out the background of this case in depth in its
recent order granting Defendants' motion to dismiss for
lack of personal jurisdiction. See Dkt. No. 21. In
brief, the matter involves the souring of a business
relationship to develop software for an application. The core
of the case, however, revolves around Plaintiffs allegation
that Defendants tapped into a teleconference in which he was
attempting to market the application to third-party
competitors of Defendants.
September 17, 2019, the Court granted a motion to dismiss by
Defendants finding that the Court did not have personal
jurisdiction over Defendants. Dkt. No. 21. In essence, and
based on the information before the Court at the time,
Defendants had not purposefully directed their actions
towards Washington State because the teleconference line
allegedly tapped, which Plaintiff was using during his call,
was owned by Defendants. As the Court stated, "[t]he
relevant facts that remain are that Plaintiff initiated the
contact with the State of New York by dialing into the
teleconference equipment of a New York based company, whose
equipment is located in New York, and who did not appear to
have knowledge of the call prior to, and during, its
commission or give permission for such a call to take
place." Id. at 8.
responded to the Court's opinion with a motion for
reconsideration. Dkt. No. 22. According to Plaintiff, he
obtained new evidence, not available earlier, that the
conference line utilized for the teleconference in question
did not belong to Defendants, but instead was an independent,
third-party service called Mikogo. Id. at 3, 7-9.
Thus, Plaintiff asserts, the facts of the case have
dramatically changed to "Plaintiff having an independent
private conversation in Washington" where
Defendants "found some way to access Plaintiffs private
Mikogo conference call and instructed their internal software
to record it without the consent or knowledge of
Plaintiff." Id. at 8 (emphasis in original).
reply that the Mikogo conference line referred to in
Plaintiffs motion for reconsideration does, in fact, belong
to them. Dkt. No. 26 at 1; Dkt. No. 26-1 at ¶ 5. Not
only do they contest the appropriateness of reconsideration,
Defendants also move for attorneys' fees. Dkt. No. 26 at
8-11. As Defendants state, "Plaintiff made no attempt to
contact Defendants once he had obtained [the new evidence] to
asked about phone number 855-809-1233, which is evident
because, if Plaintiff had asked, Defendants would have
promptly informed Plaintiff that [it] was an SCI toll-free
number used by SCI's conference line." Id.
at 5-6. As such, Defendants claim, "[t]he [m]otion for
reconsideration based solely upon the erroneous theory that
the toll-free number used by Plaintiff on March 25, 2014 did
not belong to Defendants cannot be supported by any rational
argument on the laws or facts and is therefore
frivolous." Id. at 10 (internal quotations
Motion for Reconsideration
for reconsideration are disfavored." Local Rules W.D.
Wash. LCR 7(h)(1); see also Doe v. Trump, 284
F.Supp.3d 1182, 1184 (W.D. Wash. 2018); Dkt. No. 11 at 3
(this Court's standing order stating that "[m]otions
for reconsideration are discouraged"). Ordinarily, the
Court will deny such motions "in the absence of a
showing of (1) 'manifest error in the prior ruling,'
or (2) 'new facts or legal authority which could not have
been brought to [the court's] attention earlier with
reasonable diligence.'" Doe, 284 F.Supp.3d
at 1184 (quoting Local Rules W.D. Wash. LCR 7(h)(1)).
provides that an attorney is subject to sanctions "when
he [or she] presents to the court 'claims, defenses, and
other legal contentions' . . . [not] warranted by
existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension,
modification, or reversal of existing law or the
establishment of new law.'" Holgate ...